FORMER Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda says contrary to the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s “mysterious” projections, the country only has about 7.2 million eligible voters which represents 40 percent of the 18 million population.

In a statement, Thursday, Chikwanda, who is also PF finance committee chairman, said this meant that ECZ had so far managed to capture 74.53% of eligible voters, which was commendable.

“As no census has taken place yet, the population of Zambia of 18 million is an estimate. Population projections are reasonably accurate with low percentage errors. The assumption that is debatable is that there are 9 million eligible voters. The structure of our population is such that the segment below 18 years is about 60% which means those entitled to register as voters are about 40% of the 18 million population or 7.2 million. As at close of business on 8th December 2020, a total of 5,366,324 voters were registered. This means that 74.53% of eligible voters were captured using 7.2 million as a more logical benchmark. This is an incredible feat and the electoral commission of zambia needs to be commended as opposed to pilling abuse and derision on the hardworking men and women whom we have all entrusted to run our elections,” Chikwanda stated.

“There was commotion and anxieties, some veritable, some quite misplaced at the onset of voters registration. The voter registration process, has, however, proceeded exceedingly well. At inception of the voter registration, a sort of mysterious figure of 9 million voters was used as a benchmark. There is need to put things in context.”

He applauded political parties for the fantastic mobilisation and expressed hope that the elections would be peaceful.

“To get the vast number of voters which at the end of the registration process will be just under 80% of those entitled to vote, the political parties have done a fantastic job of mobilization. The parties deserve ungrading commendation. One hopes that the turnout at elections will be equally good in an atmosphere of tranquillity and peace. We in the patriotic front congratulate the party structures throughout the country for the mobilization of people to register in such impressive larger numbers with minimal supervision from the top. It is such praiseworthy local initiatives that will propel our party and our great country forward,” he stated.

Chikwanda stated that those who wanted to unseat the PF have a huge task on their laps.

“Those who want to supplant the Patriotic Front have a huge task on their laps because they cannot wish away our ingrained unity, vision and sense of duty and purpose, let alone the wonderful development agenda. When all Zambians are on board as active agents of development, our development and its sustainability is assured. Peaceful, transparent and successful polls on 12th august 2021 will keep the internal and external detractors at bay. Zambia will always rise to the occasion and shame the vocal high priests of doom,” stated Chikwanda.